TORONTO – There’s an old adage we’ve heard hundreds of about blue -liners like Mark Giordano, who made their name on the defensive side of the game. They do their best, so here goes the things you don’t see.
They are the ones who are quietly locked in the back while the flyers do their work. A box with no essentials is a constant stream of solid games. On Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena, with his parents in the house when he started for his youth club, Giordano showed the city crowd what he was like.
Coming from the Seattle Kraken in the commercial season, the 38 -year -old has little time to fix his routine. With one workout under his belt, he slipped through the snow Wednesday in a whirlwind behind and between two fast -moving teams the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. And while the game’s key moments came elsewhere on the paper-short goals and some Matthews-to-Marner magic that gave it a 3-2 win-Giordano gave up. to his re -organization the way the Leafs envisioned. to him.
“He was really consistent,” Mitch Marner said of his new teammate after the game. “He makes the best games, especially in the O-zone, looking for a lot of advice, a lot of games around the net, just trying to get the puck there. “It’s all right. It’s just a quiet place there.”
Attach the pictures, and you will see the No. 55 flying with the right play in time rather than out, moving pucks out of the Maple Leafs ’zone with ease, blocking lanes with his stick, or the new Swinging the players ’knives against the pucks before the bar reaches. You will see him standing with the Devils on the blue line, which they are supposed to run to the finish line with the puck gently floating in the corner, or releasing his 200-pound draw them on boards, cutting the experiments there.
One time delay the second time serves as one of that kind of stability. The score was tied at 2-2, and with just 18 seconds left in the picture, Giordano’s young blue teammate, Timothy Liljegren, melted the puck. Back in the Toronto area, Auston Matthews was lining up in front of Nico Hischier, the Diabolos were hungry for a final goal with Marner once in their lead minutes earlier. The puck fell, Hischier won, and as he returned his defender, Giordano jumped in the middle, picked up the biscuit, and secured the wire from the boards to securely secure the non -stop piece.
It’s not a game -saver, or an entertaining show – it’s just a quiet bit of old -fashioned knowledge to put the puck back in safety and move things around.
“You’re talking about his comfort level, my comfort level is high,” coach Sheldon Keefe said of his first -team start. “When he went out and put the puck on his stick, it seemed like things were calm. You can tell he was an old man. He knows the game.
“When it comes in, new partners, a new city, a new system, everything, it’s trusting, moving pucks, defending, getting in the way of people. I really liked that. what I saw in his game tonight.
Surprisingly, the 38 -year -old’s most visible moment didn’t make it – at the start of the third, when the puck ran into the Maple Leafs area, Giordano kicked to him from heaven. His jersey goal that was supposed to be in the snow fell on his side, a hand jumping up for the screaming sound. But when he went to the box, the officials gave in and admitted he was not at fault, thinking that in the end it would be a very difficult time for the old solid.
Stoic as he does, however, did not keep the 18,739 filling the Scotiabank Arena grounds, ‘ooooh’ blowing from the crowd every time they received the first Calgary Flame the puck on his stick to the wrong piece and attacked. for shooting.
A perfect reception for the local kid who came from a hopeless Norris Trophy winner.
“I’ve been good all day,” Giordano said of what he thought would come of his start, after it was said and done. “I remember coming here when I was young. I got some nerves today, but not really – I was so happy. I love the way we play.
Given his first glimpse of the Maple Leafs ’high skill after years of living on the other side of those pieces of Matthews -Marner wizardry, the newcomer was delighted with what he saw – and , Of course, they are. the defensive details caught his eye, rather than the highlight-reel playmaking.
“I was really happy,” he said after the game. “You know, there were only one puck fights in the D division, I think our first team did a really good job to prove it. [there’s] The second effort, getting those pucks, winning those little stick battles. That’s an important part of the game, and I see tonight, going wrong here and there, the guys really help you out and heal you. So, it’s good to know. It wasn’t a very good game in any way, but I think we did a really good job. “
The warm reception he received from the public, even when he was announced as part of the starting lineup, demanding a lot of fun in the rain, turned Giordano. in his admiration for Keefe.
“It’s fun – every time a coach does something like you, it’s really appreciated. It’s great hospitality, so I’m happy with that,” she said. “And of course winning the night was even more delicious.”
• The death of the Maple Leafs led to the night, the team had two goals to complete the game of the other special teams. Keefe said why the PK made such a big mistake this season: “A lot of speed, a lot of consistency – it’s a killer. So we put pressure, we put people in bad places. And our people feel good. … That is the attitude of the players, the speed to close quickly, and then the skill level to make games and finish games. It is very important today. “
• Coming off a major uproar for himself and the goaltending image of the Maple Leafs in general, Petr Mrazek returned to the winning column on Wednesday, receiving praise from his coach for the performance: “I thought he was really good,” Keefe said. I think he is calm and confident. [It’s a] hard game – you get a few pictures that first time, not much work, and the two pictures it gets are a bit hard there. Then, the second time, things came out, and there were a lot of really good examples for them that I thought were good. That was a big deal for him. “